Author: Erick Huerta

Reforming Education in South LA: We Can Do It!

In the past 15 years, South LA’s families and have worked hard to overcome deficiencies in the Los Angeles Unified District 1 school system—deficiencies that have resulted in overcrowded schools, low matriculation rates, and poor college attendance. June’s Los Angeles Unified School District 1 school board election provided us with an historic opportunity to reshape

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Celeste Godinez

Celeste Godinez At age 15, Celeste Godinez spent her weekends at the Long Beach Port watching the boats dock and the diesel big-rigs pull away leaving thick trails of exhaust behind them. Located in the Los Angeles Basin, the large shipping yard yields some of the worst pollution in the nation, with thousands of area residents facing serious

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Pushing Back Against Wage Theft

For many low-income workers, securing a decent hourly wage is the holy grail. Unfortunately, collecting on that promised wage all too often becomes a battle they are forced to fight alone, usually with no hope of recovering the lost pay. Last month, two members of City Council, Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo, along with the

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"Renters Make LA Work. It's Time to Make LA Work for Renters."

“Renters Make LA Work. It’s Time to Make LA Work for Renters.” Within a day after Mayor Eric Garcetti presented  his plans for revitalizing Los Angeles during his first term, media coverage of affordable housing issues—a topic conspicuously left out of his agenda—spread across news outlets. “Californians can’t afford their rents,” read the first line

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What's Missing From the Mayor's Agenda?

What’s Missing From the Mayor’s Agenda? On April 10, Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his first State of the City address at the California Science Center, which focused on defining his “back to basics” agenda in Los Angeles. This is a talking point he’s used since before taking office last year—a phrase that suggests a strong

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Restoring Equity to the City Budget

Restoring Equity to the City Budget With two weeks to go before Mayor Eric Garcetti releases his proposed city budget for the next fiscal year, community members and representatives of nearly 18 Los Angeles organizations gathered on the steps of City Hall on March 21 to voice their concerns about the sluggish economy, and to

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Maria Rutledge

Maria Rutledge Maria Rutledge had lived in her South Los Angeles home for about 50 years without having to make any major repairs to it. So, naturally, when she realized that her heater’s floor switch was broken, she didn’t think twice about replacing the toggle herself. But a few days before jumping into the project,

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California's Prisons: Are They Fighting Crime, or Causing It?

California’s Prisons: Fighting Crime, or Causing It? In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons were so overcrowded that the state was actually violating the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling was based on the prison system subjecting inmates to the physical and psychological harm that arises when people

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